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Empowering Women Entrepreneurs featuring Natasha Case, Coolhaus & The Urgent Company

Co-founder and President of Brand Experience at Coolhaus

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Natasha Case, Co-founder and President of Brand Experience at Coolhaus, to discuss how her brand is making a difference. Natasha talks about the mission of Coolhaus, how her architecture background helps the company, and the recent acquisition by Perfect Day.

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Key Takeaways

    • Natasha Case describes what sets Coolhaus apart from other ice cream brands

    • How Coolhaus combines Natasha’s passion for architecture and food

    • Natasha discusses her time with Disney Imagineering

    • The Coolhaus mission: empowering other women to follow their dreams

    • The new possibilities unlocked by Perfect Day’s recent acquisition

    • How Natasha managed to keep the Coolhaus team intact through the acquisition

    • Big milestones that Natasha is proud of

    • What’s next for Natasha?

    • Why Natasha is pushing towards more dairy-free products

Quotes

Chapters

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Transcript

Intro 0:05

Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo. A brand development firm guiding mission driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base crush their categories through growth and innovation and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com

Diana Fryc 0:43

Hi there, Diana Fryc here I’m the host of the GooderPodcast where I get to talk with a powerhouse women in the food, beverage and wellness categories about their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. Thanks for joining us today.

Natasha Case 0:57

ravening Mm hmm,

Diana Fryc 0:59

well, this episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo is a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks kind, Rei, PepsiCo, highkey, and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design services for brands in the food wellness and beverage industries. If your goal is to increase market share, drive, drive growth, not drive growth, or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas. Give us a call and let’s talk you can reach me directly at info@retail-voodoo.com or just check us out on retail-voodoo.com for more. Now before I introduce today’s guests, I want to give a big thank you up to Sashee Chandran of Tea drops for introducing me and Miss Natasha today. Tea drops is a woman led innovative Tea Company changing the culture of tea drinking by making organic whole leaf teas shaped into a drop that dissolves into a magical cup of goodness. Tea drops have fast become favorites of teens Hollywood elite as well as a lot of us working moms me included. To learn more her little bit about what Sasha is up to or about Tea Drops, visit myteadrop.com. Okay, on that note now today I am super excited to introduce Miss Natasha Case Founder and CEO of Coolhaus the leading women and LGBTQ founder led ice cream brand in the US. Founded in 2009. Coolhaus is on a mission to not only creating great ice cream treats, but a social mission of inspiring the next generation of women and LGBTQ founders, entrepreneurs and creatives of diverse backgrounds. To feel empowered in turning their dreams into reality. Natasha has participated in brand partnerships with companies like Hulu, Goldie Blox and Ritz crackers has been recognized for her leadership by organizations like Forbes, Zagat LinkedIn, bon appetit, and even just a few Food Network competitions. Hello, that sounds fun. And it all started with Disney. But wait, we’ll learn a little bit more about that in a moment. First, let’s just actually say real hello to miss Natasha. Hi, happy New Year.

Natasha Case 3:10

Happy New Year to you as well. Thanks for having me on. Of course how are you can complain you know, through the another wild year?

Diana Fryc 3:21

I think that’s just gonna become like, we’ll start having to say well, it was not a wild year. I don’t know when that’s gonna happen. Yeah. And you’re in the are you in the LA area? Is that right?

Natasha Case 3:31

I am. I’m in the Heart of LA Wiltshire Park is born and raised. I’ve only ever not been here for college. I went to Berkeley and then I lived in Italy for a year. So less of my time has been here in LA.

Diana Fryc 3:45

Okay, okay. I was born in Santa Monica and lived in 1000 oaks before it was the 1000 oaks that everybody knows now like I used to go down into the swamps and pick cat tails out I think where the there’s a big performing arts center where I used to get really muddy and come home with pollywog so I’ve got dating myself a little bit but yeah, I know that area. I had a friend who lived more kind of like deeper in West Valley have you would like go like take bicycles and go around like the orange groves? Oh, yes. Like OG Valley.

Natasha Case 4:20

Yes. Yeah.

Diana Fryc 4:21

Mm hmm. Yeah, it’s changing and still changing rapidly. Now I would love to talk about California some more because here I am in in a little bit dreary Seattle that we’ve had our fair share son recently but really want to learn more about you. Before we get into some of the Meteor stuff I really want to talk about Coolhaus if you could give us just a high level from you as the one of the founder owners. What is Coolhaus what does it stand for?

Natasha Case 4:50

So Coolhaus. It’s a really innovative brand. It’s really a you know, as far as like what it is it’s it’s just unique to decadent, delicious ice cream. Mainly novelties, that’s our focus. So that would be anything really besides a pint sandwiches, cones, working on some bite sized things working on some, you know, ice cream to Ketos, you don’t want to give all the secrets away, don’t give all away. Yeah, but really, believe me, it’s way harder to do than it is to come up with an idea. So not actually never worried about that, but really so so you know, kind of reading ice cream from that standpoint, and I say ice cream. And that can mean dairy, it can mean dairy free, I have a lot to share on kind of where we are with that now. But I think in a way the ice cream is a canvas for just thinking outside the box and how to kind of, you know, use a brand and a product as a platform that you can really kind of like elevate others or, or be progressive and have a positive message. And for class we’ve really focused on, like founders and creators and entrepreneurs have a diverse background and how do we use our brand to help elevate them. And so that’s a really big piece of the brand. That’s our social mission. Fox and we have shops, and run grocery stores, all around the country, everything from Whole Foods. we’re relaunching and sprouts, Kroger, Walmart, you know, and then a lot of Metro Metro market as I think where you said you get them from so a lot of kind of those smaller specialty stores as well, like here in LA like Elsens Bristol Farms.

Diana Fryc 6:28

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I do you guys own your own manufacturing? Is this all cool, man.

Natasha Case 6:35

It’s vast majority cool, man. We have a small kind of innovation center. HQ, where we can come up with new ideas directly in our shop and at our events.

Diana Fryc 6:46

Okay, that’s what I was. That’s really what I was wondering when I hear about a brand that is in really massive innovation space, like, I’m hearing of all sorts of kind of configurations of, you know, partnerships and bringing in their own equipment and how that’s changing just the structure of the company in and of itself. Yes, yes. Totally. Yeah. So it’s is your partner’s name? Fred, am I getting that correctly? Yes. Okay. Okay. Now, I read in your bio, that you in prayer, we’re both working, it is neither. So this is not a surprise. When the idea came to you. Can you tell us? What, what was it? Like? I know, it was all about making better ice cream. But was there a moment? Was there a like? Yeah. So actually,

Natasha Case 7:35

Fran was in affordable housing, real estate, and I and I, okay, sharing, but Gotcha. Um, the, I think, for me, it was really kind of goes back to my, you know, college and grad school years, where I was really trying to take my architecture background, that was what I was studying the whole time. And how do you how do you make? How do you make what we’re talking about more fun and accessible? And kind of open the conversation more like, felt like architecture seemed really intimidating? And like a little bit stodgy? Yeah. For me, I always knew I wanted to do something different with the skill set. Like I believe you have to learn a skill set to know how to break apart. Yes, absolutely. Though, I and I have done a lot of projects around that. And they’re still very much that thread, as I described in poolhouse. Of like, of like, wanting things to be accessible and wanting to empower and, and I believe the coolest things are, are the things that you know, are the most accessible, that’s what makes something cool versus something inaccessible. That just makes you feel crappy. Yeah. But anyway, I was like playing with idea. And my other passion really is food. And the whole thing kind of came together as a bit of like a light bulb moment. And one of my architecture studios, my professor criticized the scale model that I made saying it look like a layer cake. I was like, why is it that thing layer cakes are delicious. So I baked the next iteration of the model as a cake. I had so much fun doing that. I stayed up all night without noticing. And I realized like, that’s the way to really, you know, bringing two passions together as a way to make something really unique. And I knew that I would just be obsessed with it and never be tired of, you know, have this like, kind of like partnership of ideas. Yeah, I played around with this concept. It was really kind of like a passion hobby art project all the way through the rest of grad school and then Disney Imagineering and that’s I met Freya kind of when I when that concept had become an Ice Cream Sandwich as just one of the practices of this idea. Yes. And the reason I was making mushroom sandwiches is because it was the Great Recession of 2009 right and a lot of people were getting tough news and getting laid off and just ice cream is such a comfort food and such a great way to you know, I think I just bring that bring bring joy when things are stressful. Yes. Oh, For us, you know, I think recognize that there was something really cool with the product of the idea. But she really helped bring kind of more of the business discipline we’re doing, and really helped me put the numbers around it and even think of it as a business in the first place, which wasn’t. And so that was kind of the real, I think ground zero of Coolhaus. And then, you know, we just realized how much opportunity there was an ice cream to, I think, think outside the box in terms of flavors and abilities. But also, we just felt like the brands and really kind of represent, you know, people like us as founders, not as women, not as millennials, not as queer women as we started dating, and not as a woman of color, like Freya’s. So we just thought, here’s a, just a golden opportunity to just make the brand that we want to buy. And then the ice cream truck at Coachella was the only way that we could, you know, kind of get the idea out there in a way that we could afford. And yeah, was timely.

Diana Fryc 11:00

Yes. Well, I’ll channel right sometimes. Yes, that’s the that’s the magic bullet, right? Yes, exactly. Yeah. Now, I have to ask, just simply because those of us that are not in LA, like people who are in LA, like everybody in their brother has worked at Disney outside of LA, or for the Orlando area, there’s a magical ness to Disney. And so I have to ask, Was there was your experience at Disney? Was there any impact on the business? Or just was there? Like, did you get some pixie dust or something that kind of helped things along? Or was that just happened to be an awesome part of your journey?

Natasha Case 11:41

No, I think it definitely was impactful and had an influence. For me, I think I kind of equated to, like people who may be, you know, create a tech startup that worked at a much bigger tech company, because there’s something to be said about kind of cutting your teeth, like where, you know, with the big guys, and seeing kind of what it can become and having that vision, what it takes to build something, the skill set, and also just meeting people and having a support system. And then so that’s definitely was something for me, because Disney is sort of that but in my world, I would say just the ultimate teller of stories and builder brands, they create stories and characters that we that we worship our whole lives. Yeah. When you go to any Disney, you know, park or the cruises or you know, whatever you see people of all ages all backgrounds. Yeah. I’m I’m always impressed by at Disneyland in Anaheim. The noun is like, kind of rockabilly punk. Totally, like tatted up folks who are just like, they’re, like worshipping Disney characters and amazing. So at Ariel. Yeah, it totally Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s so cool. I mean, it really is, you really have to give it credit no matter how to what your personal opinion of Disney is. But, um, that to me was, you know, I really believe brands CPG, food, food and beverage brands. It’s about telling stories and kind of, I think going beyond what the product is to make people feel connected, and that romance around it. And so that really inspired me to think, to continue to think about what I wanted to do in that sense, even if I wasn’t a Disney employee anymore.

Diana Fryc 13:25

Yeah. And there’s something to be said about what you said earlier about, you have to know what the rules are in order to break them. I think Disney, that’s part of Disney success. They make small incremental changes that we don’t see. But if you look back as to like, everything from representation and technology to storytelling, like each incremental move, you don’t see it. But when you look back 20 years, you’re like, oh my gosh, like they’re part of the cultural change through storytelling and comfort. Not unlike ice cream ice cream has that ability, as well. So well, that’s, I think that’s really cool. Just for me, I’m always been a creative person myself, but that I have a bucket list item of I want to go underground at Disney and see how they make the magic. I’m thinking that it might blow the magical experience of going to the park but I’m like such an operational geek that I could just imagine what that whole.

Natasha Case 14:26

Yeah, no, totally. It’s so funny. You say that first of all, that is part of the orientation for anyone working at Disney. I think you’re kidding the park one day at like five and they show you kind of all the behind the scenes, like what makes what makes that magic possible. And all the kind of code words for if there’s little mini issues and how they handle them. And I think you know, it would make you appreciate it even more because that was I you know, one thing I was gonna say to regarding Disney as another way that they’re inspiring is it sort of this ultimate marriage of extreme creativity and artists but also I just business and operations as the way they have the way they run that ship. I mean, it’s it’s amazing, the parks are incredibly clean, and people take it for granted, you know, like, you just are used to seeing Disneyland that way it could be, it could be a mess, it could be a disaster, it could be totally gross, total right there. So on it, and I think it’s like, at one side allows the other to flourish. I feel like when you when you have that operational know how, then you can be more creative. This is my philosophy. And this is how I think about Coolhaus. And yes, my brands that I’m involved in, when you have that discipline, it actually allows you to think more outside the box, because you’re not worried about the instability on that side. And to the same point, you know, they have they bring so much to the table creatively, there’s a lot to execute and do from an operational standpoint. So it’s a really good kind of right and left brain.

Diana Fryc 15:48

Yeah. And to your point, I’m going to transition here like Disney is everybody knows that their Why is really clear. And operationally they run off of that, why their mission vision values. It kind of bringing me bringing us back to Coolhaus. Mission. Now. I know that outside of making killer ice cream, you have commitments to families, to diversity to growing women and business. It’s been pretty, it’s pretty big mission and narrow at the same time in the grand scheme of things as big and small. Has your mission changed since that 2009 Start? And I asked this because now the last few years, we’ve seen some pretty zany stuff and the real kind of the BLM Movement API, political stuff. COVID. You name it. Has your mission changed? Has it just been stronger? Are you emboldened? What’s What’s that?

Natasha Case 16:46

Yeah, I think, you know, I think early on sort of a lot of our focus as far as how we were impacting our community and inspiring the community and reaching out had a lot to do with, you know, changing changing one’s career path and going direction and kind of following a dream, maybe that you wouldn’t have you thought to follow or felt empowered to follow because you were planning on being on a more stable path. Right. And I don’t know that I that we put that together as a mission. But I think that was really what people identified within the brand, because so many people were questioning, you know, okay, am I going to jump into the thing that I always wanted to do? Right, like, that was the great recession. And the way I think we’re going through that, again, agreed, feels great polar and it feels familiar and a good way. And then I think, maybe more five years in that sort of crystallized more like, Okay, well, not only have we done something different, but we’ve done it, you know, not being the kind of cookie cutter of what a lot of people think of or who a lot of people think of is behind brands. And I think as we started to become more visible, as women for as I said, as a woman of color as a as a gay couple, we could really own that story more, and then we really turn that into how do we actually do work around that, and really, you know, stand for something to take actions. Because I think like when you have a mission, it has to be so authentic. Yeah. Otherwise, it can just feel. I think it’s weird. The consumer is both very smart and very tough. Like, you know, it’s a funny combination. But one thing I know is that people will pick up on it, if it’s, if it’s not genuine. It’s always I think, better when it really, really comes from you. And it’s personal. So then we then we really started to build out telling the story, public speaking outreach, how criada products can raise money for like, you know, black girl ventures? Yes, um, we use the trucks, ice cream trucks for Girls Inc, to get supplies to, you know, young girls who live in the inner city, and they suddenly had to work from home and they don’t have school supplies. Yeah. So, you know, really look like many, many, I think pieces around that. And, and that’s, and that’s definitely stands today. I know, we’re gonna talk more about it. But now that we’ve been acquired by perfect day, the urgent company, their whole, you know, platform is around animal free dairy, using like, basically using technology to create dairy without having to use the cow, and the land and the water. It’s phenomenal. So now we have this whole other environmental sustainable layer, and I feel like, like what’s not to love? You know, right. Yeah.

Diana Fryc 19:30

Yeah. Well, you know, and that’s what I want to talk about next. Right, like so this. This is recent. This is in the last 30 days. There’s been the perfect day acquisition and congratulations. I know that was just a ton of work. Yeah, it’s

Natasha Case 19:45

a wild wild experience.

Diana Fryc 19:47

I’m sure what can you you know, not only wild experience in general, but then through this whole COVID shenanigans like you share that can’t what can you share about that? story that you think, you know, people would just be like, Wow, that was that was the thing.

Natasha Case 20:06

I think that? Well, for me, it was just really important. I think it I think it really kind of makes you assess what truly matters to you. And that’s a really good exercise to go through. Because, um, acquisitions are challenging. Like, kind of this, like, they’re this big, bulky animal, you know, it’s yeah, I’ve never heard a story where someone’s like, oh, blah, blah, you know, and then yeah, and it just happened. Yeah. Right. It’s, it’s a lot goes into it, as you said, and I think you really have to assess like, well, what’s, what are the things that are that are really important to me to live on about a brand, you know, um, you could say, it’s all it all I care about is a check, period, that’s what I need. And, you know, as like a founder, like, that could be anything is justifiable, you know, it’s totally legitimate. A lot of people never take money off the table and are doing it a long time. And it’s so much work. And so that’s fun. You know, I think for me, one thing that was really important was wanting the brand to live on, and then wanting it to kind of, like live on in a way that can like really stand for something that I can be proud of, and feel connected to. And so this perfect day, urgent company, you know, kind of next chapter, it’s, it’s just beyond, it’s so much of that, because, as I said, not only do they have this huge sustainability mission that truly could save the world, like it’s a big enough idea and a big enough platform, and they have the money and resources to do it, which was always, you know, just much, much tighter at Coolhaus. So now I feel like it opens up more possibilities. There’s a bigger team on the brand, you know, there’s just more Yeah, the resources and the support for it are phenomenal. So that was really, really important to me. And so it’s like, it’s definitely a time to assess that. I think it’s a good time to think about your next chapter. Yes, as a founder, as a leader, what can that look like having open and honest conversations about it, deciding what your needs are? I mean, you hear of so many founders, who they sell their business and amazing a mountain and they have an identity crisis, because yeah, even one thing for so long, and suddenly, you know, they’ve got this, you know, it could be an amazing amount of their bank account. But it’s like this, this shift of, of going from one thing to another, so suddenly, yeah, and maybe not feeling like you have a purpose. I mean, it, it can take a toll. So yeah, it’s so important to like, have that kind of self reflection. And then, you know, that a lot of it is just, yeah, putting it all together. And, you know, lawyers, and

Diana Fryc 22:51

I don’t know how long yours went, because I, you know, I have had conversations with many people, some people who are mid acquisition, and they’re in like, year number two have a conversation. I know, it is. It’s a marathon, most of the time. Yeah. So I’m curious. What, what, why now? Why, why now? I think

Natasha Case 23:15

it just felt like we needed something to take it to the next level. You know, you know, this business. So well, grocery is incredibly challenging. The amount of, you know, money and time and support and team and sometimes trial and error, and everything that it takes to make it and to make it really work. It’s, it’s it’s so tough. And anyone could say their category is the toughest, but I do believe it is one of the more challenging ones. And it felt like we were maybe kind of hitting a wall. Yeah. Okay. Because of that. And, and, you know, it takes it’s not gonna change if it doesn’t change, you know, like, Yes, I think we needed something bigger, in a lot of ways to make it work. And what I’ve seen with a lot of the brands who really, really succeed, and it’s, the odds are not that you’re not going to succeed, it’s like, ghostly. That doesn’t happen. But what I’ve seen is they there’s so much to talk about, there’s so much there. And this seemed like a way to like, add that whole other layer. Yeah. And I just want to add it from a personal standpoint. Um, you know, look, I’ve been making ice cream with real dairy for 13 years, but, you know, I am a mom, I have, you know, a four year old and a one year old and I think we all know that we have to majorly disrupt our food system if they are going to eat the way we do like this. Yes, on forever. And it’s just that feeling like I we can do better, you know, we can do more. And we’re lucky we have incredible loyalty for Coolhaus. That’s a big part of why they bought is having that that loyalty and that trust from the consumer, because we’re switching all of our animal dairy to animal free dairy over the next few years. Wow. Yeah, yeah, that’s huge. Yeah. And so you need to have that buy in your customer to say, are you? Absolutely. And make it taste amazing? Yeah. Well, so

Diana Fryc 25:24

a question then along the line of this acquisition, because not only do I talk with a lot of leaders like yours, on the projects that we work with, and then also in these types of settings, but then there’s, then there’s the whole company that, you know, how power kind of tools did you use to kind of help your team go through this transition to because there’s always nerves, right? Going to be acquired? Am I going to lose my job? What’s gonna change? Who’s gonna be my real boss, blah, blah, blah? How did you guide people through that? And I’m assuming that it’s still going on, this is still fresh and changes are going to continue to happen for a bit. But do you do weekly meetings in for coffee? Like,

Natasha Case 26:10

it’s such a good point, I think unless you’ve been through it, it’s like something that that may not like occur to you in that way, you know, like, something where you could be like, oh, like, I’ve really got to handle this. This is my, my tea and my culture. Yeah. For me, I would say, I’m very into transparency. I brought them in to the dialogue very early, maybe radically early, some might say, I’m just very, I didn’t want to kind of be different about this than I. Yeah, what other things? You know, I It’s funny, I think a lot of business owners for some reason, they’re like, Well, I don’t want these people to see our numbers. Yeah, I think they fear like, the, the employee will want to take something or it, I’ve never found that to actually happen, right, I found that the more you share, too, obviously, there’s could be an appropriate level. But the more trust, and the more and the more buy in people know that not everything in like a profit of a company is just there, you know, for everyone to just take, like, someone just gets reinvested back into the business. Yeah. So brought them in, I would say, quite early, and in an honest way, and they’re my team was really important for me to showcase to the buyer, you know, because I think a lot of what we have is an amazing culture and a team that’s so pumped and so bought in, um, and so you know, it’s hard to be like, you’re going to talk to these people, I can’t tell you why, you know, like, they’re not, it’s not going to work as well. So that was really important to me. And then we started to get more specific kind of, as soon as we could again, you know, when, like, I started to see like, okay, the buyer there, they get it, they’re really interested in my team, they see the value. And they ended up making offers to every single person on the team. Oh, my gosh, every single person on my team took the offer. Huge. Yeah, that’s huge. So I’m so proud of that. And that meant a lot. And I think it’s because they knew that I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t something that was right and amazing. And ultimately, just yeah, like a great next chapter for the brand. And so So what they believe me, you know, yeah, well, testament to who you are as a leader.

Diana Fryc 28:29

I think you’re right, I have no, we’ve worked with people across the board, but you don’t tell anything to their employees until they absolutely have to all the way through kind of complete transparency. And I think it actually is harder and more painful to the the brand owner, whether it’s the CEO or director or whatever, to hide it and then have to divulge it, because I feel like there’s more. I’m gonna use a word it might be overused in the scenario but it almost creates a kind of trauma anybody that’s been employed since before the 2008 time like there’s a trauma related to losing your job for no reason whatsoever. And I’m a big huge fan of that transparency, so that’s pretty great. Yeah, yeah.

Natasha Case 29:18

I think ballclub by the way, a trauma can be the most empowering things like I feel like it gets it’s obviously like a word with there’s negativity there. But yeah, when you when you kind of the closer you can get to understanding them, and they can actually be a superpower. So yes, great. Yeah. Yeah. My acupuncturist says SE.

Diana Fryc 29:38

Oh, I love it. I love it. Oh, my goodness. So when you’re looking back, I mean, it sounds like I don’t know. I felt like there’s a little bit of you’re setting up Coolhaus for the future, which it sounds like maybe you may not be part of it. At some point in time. I’m kind of guessing from some language you chose but I don’t want to speak for you And that could be in 20 years. It could be tomorrow, who knows. But really what I want to do is I want to kind of go as you’re looking back at Coolhaus. At your time at Coolhaus. What are the things that you’re like? If if we’re only remembered for one or two things, after all is said and done? What are those things that you’re most proudest of? Yeah.

Natasha Case 30:19

Well, first, I want to say I actually no, no plans right now to not be involved. You know, you know, make it as as you know, my employer as transparent as possible. Hey, no, no,

Diana Fryc 30:31

I’m not going anywhere. Yes, no

Natasha Case 30:33

plans. I’m very much enjoying this next chapter already. Yeah. I might an end game beyond this is to get into politics. I’m interested. Oh, okay. Yeah. And which I actually think this, this is an even this is a great gateway to that, because they’re doing political work around. Yes. The technology. So it’s actually it’s amazing. Sometimes you like wills something? And like, he just suits with some of the steps happening. But anyway, like, yes, no plans and loving loving this and excited about it. But looking back. Oh, God, I mean, I’m, I’m just, I guess I first feel so lucky to be able to be proud because I think I think it can be a very, you know, it can be an experience filled with traumas. And I feel like I certainly was very proud. Like I mentioned, I was like, my whole team coming on board. I think a lot of the one of like the public speaking over the years, I feel really proud about that. Just because it’s more and more kind of have a having the liberal audience to inspire that you can think differently and do things differently. Like we did like a keynote at like Martha Stewart one year, I’ve done something big at at South by, you know, just any anything like that, I’m always just proud of a lot of speaking at like, kind of like, you know, underserved under resourced entrepreneur communities, especially, or charities around them. So I think that’s really important. I think maybe from a more like, technical standpoint, I think, each time we’ve like, launched a new item with Coolhaus. And it’s worked, like, we just launched these cones, really like, like, a year ago. And it like, even though it’s obviously takes so much more, it was longer. I know, you know that probably better better than anyone. But it’s always like, it’s a huge vulnerability, you know, you’re like putting this thing out there and it could totally fail. And, and each time we do that, we get the trust, you know, kind of that feedback that like, Okay, we believe you to do something that you’re doing something cool with this very new item. And then with dairy free before that, that was like, I think a really big accomplishment. Yeah. I Whole Foods is a relationship that I’m just really proud of, in general. We’re like the number three or four novelty? nationally. Yeah. And, and those other brands are obviously much, much bigger than us and have much, much more capital play. So, you know, getting into Whole Foods for the first time. Like that meant so much at the time. And, and yeah, I think my just my kids and like that they kind of know what I do and that they think it’s cool. I mean, old enough to understand. He He’s almost like too loyal. Like I was picking up his sister at daycare. And you know, this guy comes by pushing the ice cream cart. It’s like a tough job or walk around the neighborhood. Yes, it’s crazy. It’s not going to be that lucrative and it’s so much work on your feet. And he goes like, Hey, I don’t like your ice cream. Like mama Tashi, the only best ice cream, you know, like, it was like, Oh my god. Okay, like, we can also be okay. It’s a different different audience, you know, different price point. But yeah, like that. I really feel proud. Like they, especially him when he’s older. He sees and understands it and like, yes. Oh, thanks. It’s amazing. And I’m, I’m proud of what I do. So it’s nice to kind of see that reflected back. Yeah.

Diana Fryc 34:21

I love that. That being a mom is up there in the back of your business. Oh, yeah, that’s that’s pretty rad. Yeah. And you’ve already talked a little bit about what’s next for Coolhaus in you. Is that where the acting comes in for the politics is I’m curious.

Natasha Case 34:39

Yeah. Right. Right. Um, I think you know, I my my kind of go for like my next chapter kind of, I see as like a post business because yeah, I mean business. I love the the library no matter what Disney the combination of why Yeah, well, operations and math. There’s the finance operations side. But then there’s this creativity, problem solving side, particularly with entrepreneurship. Yeah, I love that. And it’s allowed me to, I think, unleash a lot of my creative powers. And I’m having fun. And I think that’s so important. Yeah. Well, I think what’s interesting, what interests me about politics and I, this is sounds very naive, but but I do believe it’s true on a fundamental level is, you know, with a business at the end of the day, it is about you know, it’s, it’s always about the bottom line, like it can’t do all these great things. It can’t be a platform for things, even if there’s not a business to speak of that can function, you know, long term. And, and so that does have to be kind of a North Star of Yeah, many things. Yes. And politics, it’s it’s about your constituents and representing them and what they want and making it happen. Yeah. And of course, there’s money involved. There’s fundraising, and there’s budgets. But like, to me, the core thing is that and I’m I would be excited to take what I see is a very similar skill set to running a business, apply to the political world, but have this different kind of spirit behind it.

Diana Fryc 36:04

Agreed. Yeah, I, at one point had similar ambitions I worked on for a while and just burned out on it. I have a thing about overturning the Electoral College. Oh, yeah. Great. Great, cause. Yeah. Speed for me on the politics side is one that I struggle with. And I think probably is my opt out. Right. I in business, I have a little bit more control over how things change. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Natasha Case 36:34

I applaud that for you. And what new product is that you can share for us is on its way out the door that we should be primed for? Yeah. Well, let’s see. So we’ve got our dairy free minis launching at Sprouts. Okay. Yeah. It’s a cookie dough, chocolate chip cookie and a snickerdoodle or chata. Oh, okay. We have minis and dairy, which will become animal free dairy, but for now, they’re dairy. And they are amazing. And they’re a perfect size. They’re half of our like, iconic size that we’re kind of more started with? Yes, because it’s exactly half snackable, shareable thing, suddenly launching at Sprouts all across the country and then launching at Whole Foods. Gluten free and dairy free. Oh, sandwich. It’s actually in between the Mini and the big. Boom. Yeah, so it’s so more like a single serve, but it’s and it’s so good. I mean, you’re not gonna miss the the dairy or the gluten. And I wouldn’t launch it if I couldn’t say that. Yes. Okay. Yeah. And there’s really nothing like it, there’s really nothing like it on that premium kind of front. Yeah. So that’s really major. And then we will be also launching in Asia leading up to summer in a big way. I mean, we’ve had like, little distribution, yeah, opportunities there over the years. But this is a bigger, like, concerted effort to launch Coolhaus in Asia, Singapore, and other parts of the continent and, and really have like, a team out there. That’s behind it. And that’s making the magic happen is like kind of a little bit of spraying and praying, you know, lots of

Diana Fryc 38:12

it’s a big area and a lot of cultures in Asia. So I was gonna say, you know, you’re probably going towards I would assume you’re going more i This is a maybe bad assumption towards this. More French colonized areas where ice cream would be a little bit more part of the culture, but I could be wrong.

Natasha Case 38:30

It’s pretty popular on everywhere. And it’s also uniquely it’s one of the few parts like this is like not like this in Europe at all are obviously in the US, like people expect brands to be local. And Asia, there’s really not the local industry. Everything’s imported. Everything’s International. Anyways, the general spirit of like, Yeah, cool. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. It’s, it’s funny, you would think it’d be all about dairy free, because there’s a pretty high rate of lactose intolerance but they actually love dairy. So this is going to be the animal free dairy as opposed or like plant baseline? Yeah, cocoa butter. This is this one is really like curious dairy is like what they see as like the cool thing that’s being like brought in Yeah,

Diana Fryc 39:17

you’re getting the mouthfeel without the without the digestion distress. That’s kind of cool. I like that. Yeah, cuz who doesn’t love that full fat? Like, that’s what for me? Like, give me a full fat you know, soft pack. I’m in there all day long, you know, and then you throw sandwich on that?

Natasha Case 39:36

Yeah, well sandwich on it. And my general feeling is mostly plant based. Let’s look at plant based milks, for example. Yeah, um, plant based milks, are they? There’s definitely some out there that are delicious. You know, people love oat milk. Yeah. For example, or other varieties made from nuts or whatever. But they’re, they’re truly not milk like they are their own thing, no animal, no pun intended. Yeah. Or lack thereof. What perfect day. And there are two company brands are able to do is really like, you know, for example, modern kitchen is one of the brands. It’s cream cheese, it is cream cheese, like you, you would be pressed to have to find the difference, you know, you’re blindfolded. While you’re, you know, refilling cream cheese or whatever you’re on your modern kitchen. It’s very, very hard to tell interesting. And I just think, like, I’m a fan like I love like Kite Hill. But to me, it’s like a totally different, like craving. Yeah, yeah, that’s where the opportunity is really, really big here. And another thing I’d say that I think so interesting, Ryan, the founder of perfect day. What he said is it’s interesting, because you have like vegetarians, who are so hardcore, about like meats, obviously, like Yeah, no, it’s not okay, but they’ll eat dairy all day. Yeah. And the reality is, you know, like big dairy industrial dairy it’s it the same reasons why they don’t want a meat should could easily be applied Absolutely, very as we know it today, but absolutely hidden away. So it’s like, really challenging people, you know, to, to kind of recognize what’s going on but but but immediately having having this alternative, like you don’t have to give up dairy. It’s it’s already you’re giving a lot. They’re not giving up dairy today.

Diana Fryc 41:24

So I think yeah, I think it’s really wonderful. It’s what’s so awesome about this. And we worked on the I don’t know if you know, the Puget Sound consumer Co Op PCC here, out in the Seattle area cook Co Op, really has had a lot of influence over the naturals industry for the longest time. years ago. We rebranded them back when, before this, the the woman who was from Starbucks, I don’t remember her name. And I don’t remember his name now. But he’s moved on. But one of the things that our research showed us even back then this is 2006 2007 is people want to eat healthy, and they want their pampers and their coke at the same time. Like like they want this mashup right and, and food science is now caught up with that demand. And it’s really friggin amazing. I love it. Oh, boy. Yeah.

Natasha Case 42:20

It’s a good moment. Yes. Well,

Diana Fryc 42:23

Natasha, before we wrap up, I want to ask you a few questions. This has been super fun. And I have a suspicion that we might be meeting over cocktail in DC one day, but until then. Maybe you could share some sort of interesting fact, I always ask everybody, what’s an interesting fact that somebody can take to a happy hour about ice cream or your industry or any of the work that you’re doing? Um,

Natasha Case 42:51

I would say, Okay, I love this one. Vanilla. Vanilla gets such a bad rap. Yeah, plain boring. Vanilla is actually one of the most complex flavors for your taste buds to understand and unpack. But it causes some of the lowest amount of flavor, taste and flavor fatigue of any flavor out there. So what is what it is about vanilla is that we can just eat it all the time. And we’re not, you know, over it. But, but it’s so it should be on this pedestal you know, and devil like, I love vanilla. It’s like it’s, you know, very fancy idea.

Diana Fryc 43:31

Yeah. Oh,

Natasha Case 43:32

that’s something I like to tell people because I think a lot of people have vanilla shame. And I just want to say that I see all you out there the vanilla shame, come forward, the safe space and feel empowered to love that vanilla even more.

Diana Fryc 43:47

Oh, that is super awesome. Yeah, right. And doesn’t vanilla makeup have something ridiculous? Like 60% of all flavors. Sales are something really bonkers like that. And that’s

Natasha Case 43:57

the real reason, you know? Yeah. And it’s funny people whenever they’re asking me how I make flavor, like, okay, vanilla bass. I’m like, no, no, if it was vanilla bass, that’d be a very different thing. First of all, you’d be paying 10% more for that flavor. Right? Right. Um, but yeah, so like, no, no, no, make sure vanilla. You don’t want to be throwing in something if it’s not going to be a star. And that’s what’s really what happens.

Diana Fryc 44:18

We’re gonna give it a crown and put it on a pedestal that is love it. All right. Are there any other women leaders or rising stars out there that you whether in food and beverage or any other industries that you’d like to elevate for the work that they’re doing? You know,

Natasha Case 44:37

I was actually thinking of um, well, I actually want to say Freya and also her partner in future Jen is partners. It’s an amazing Gen company. That is all women who are founders. I love that one. One of them. You know, I myself to sit at all the gin tastings and we will figure out the befores. But it’s really cool, especially in alcohol and spirits. There’s really no kind of diverse representation right? Delicious. It’s affordable. It’s very first time so many different cocktails. It’s you know, distilled in LA. It’s just such an authentic brand and I think you know, Freya or Amy outwood or Mary, who’s the one kind of more than the cocktail cocktail background and working in bars and hospitality. Many of them would be fun to talk to about that brand for

Diana Fryc 45:35

nice. I was just I just interviewed Lexi cation, who she’s a distributor first but just came out with a spiked seltzer botanical, and she was talking about diversity in spirits and alcohol is even lower than in other CPG so maybe I might have to do a little connection there for you. Yes, yeah. Yeah, just go Freya. Freya. Let’s make it happen. Oh, goodness. Me,

Natasha Case 46:03

you’ll be better if you email her. Okay. Yeah.

Diana Fryc 46:07

Okay, and then any brands or trends that you have your eye on and why

Natasha Case 46:13

I’m mmm, grams or transit I have my eye on.

Diana Fryc 46:18

I think.

Natasha Case 46:21

I think that this is like, just for whatever reason, I feel like in my fridge, I’m trying to think of like, what are the things in my fridge? And like, why did they excite me? Okay, well, actually, I was poking around on this site. GTFO it’s vegan, which is like a whole vegan marketplace. And I think it’s really interesting. Because now my job is to also kind of do what I do for Coolhaus for the other urgent company, right watch kitchen like brave robot, California performance company. But I’m looking for like locks partner for modern kitchen. And I’m really interested, I think a lot of what’s happening in the kind of plant based seafood and like, alternatives and even like, you know, this cell cell based lab grown Yeah, super interesting. And I’ve been keeping my eye on them. There’s one i I was noticing, like Sophie’s kitchen, I think looks Yes. And really understand that space, which obviously makes sense coming on. And then I think I feel like we’re gonna have a year of like, really, really good spicy foods and hot sauces. It’s super local, but I have these great hot sauces from it’s called spares. It’s this restaurant, like on the east side of LA. Okay, and they have like a hot sauce club. And they’re, they’re so addictive. They’re amazing. And I for some reason, I’m just feeling like 2022 is like a spicy

Diana Fryc 47:49

here might be. I’m hoping I’m hoping that it is spicy in more than one way. Yeah, like the world to kind of get out of a doldrums. Oh, my gosh. Totally. So I know those. Those are the ones that are most exciting. Awesome. Well, we have been talking with Miss Natasha Case CEO and Co-founder of Coolhaus. Natasha, where can people learn more about what you and all of your companies are up to all your companies? Where can people learn more about you go to

Natasha Case 48:21

www.cool.haus.com or Coolhaus on Instagram. So check out app rave robot at eat modern. And on Instagram to tell you more. Perfect Day’s website, perfectday.com will also give you a lot of background about what they’re doing and the vision. So lots of check out last off to get behind and excited for people

Diana Fryc 48:48

to partake. Nice. Thank you so much for your time today and all that you’re doing out in the community, very excited to watch what Coolhaus does and what you do. And I really look forward to catching up next time. Maybe even catch a cocktail or maybe we can do a cocktail. Maybe I have to do a little gin tasting down in Yeah, because I would say that’s a great idea. All right. Well, everybody thanks for joining us today on the GooderPodcast. Have a great rest of your day. Next time.

Outro 49:24

We hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you haven’t already, be sure to click subscribe and share with your network. Until next time, be well and do gooder.

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For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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